Two key Group 1 races were contested in Australia last weekend, the All-Star Mile at Moonee Valley in Victoria and the Coolmore Clsssic at Rosehill Gardens in New South Wales.
Irish-bred runners dominated the All-Star Mile at Moonee Valley as Mugatoo denied Russian Camelot in the AUD$5 (US$3.862) million race.
The gelding Mugatoo clearly liked the wet conditions as he delivered a hard-fought victory in the Group 1 contest, a race where fans vote to decide the starting field. Interestingly, Mugatoo has finished 11th in the public vote and only achieved his place in the starting line-up when awarded a wildcard entry.
Ridden by Hugh Bowman, he found a gap between runners and joined dual Group 1 winner Russian Camelot with 100 metres to the wire. The Kris Lees-handled six-year-old eventually won a thrilling battle to defeat Russian Camelot by half a length, with Behemoth a further three and a quarter lengths back in third.
Mugatoo, a gelded son of Russia-based Henrythenavigator, the sire who produced the former Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner George Vancouver, he was a €17,000 (US$18,122) purchase as a foal from Goffs November Sale. Mugatoo was later raced with British-based trainer David Simcock, for whom he won twice, before being transferred to Kris Lees in Australia.
He is a half brother to the Listed-winning, Group 2-placed Elik, and had won two Group 3 races before suffering a narrow defeat to Mirage Dancer in the Group 1 Heineken Metropolitan at Randwick last October.
Runner-up Russian Camelot, trained by Danny O’Brien, a son of Camelot, became the first Northern Hemisphere-bred winner of a Derby in Australia when he won the Group 1 Tab South Australian Derby at Morphettville in May 2020. The 4-year-old also won the Group 1 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes last year and was third to the former Aidan O’Brien-trained Sir Dragonet in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate in October.
Krone wins Group 1 Coolmore Classic
Krone continued her winning form at Rosehill Gardens last weekend when claiming the Group 1 Coolmore Classic over 1500m (7.1 furlongs). The victory added to her successes in the AUD$1 (US$772,909) million Magic Millions Fillies & Mares on the Gold Coast and the Group Two Guy Walter Stakes at Randwick.
Well positioned during the race, Krone got a split in the latter stages of the race before charging between runners to claim a length and a quarter win, her first win past 1400 metres.
Zoustar’s daughter Mizzy was a length and a quarter back in second, with Dame Giselle another half a length back in third. For the runner-up Mizzy, it was incredibly a second runner-up position in a Group 1 race in seven days, having occupied that same place behind Savatiano in the Canterbury Stakes the previous Saturday.
The win was the first at Group One level for Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan following a Doomben quinella with Spirit of Boom and Temple Of Boom in 2014. It was his first Group 1 in Sydney since Temple Of Boom took the Galaxy Handicap in 2012, while it was also the first victory for Krone’s sire, Bellereve Stud’s Eurozone, at this level.
Bred by Bell View Park Stud and Foote Street Investments Krone was originally sold for AUD$30,000 (US$23,190) at the 2016 National Weanling Sale in Australia.
She was purchased by former Widden Stud yearling manager Rae-Louise Kelly and sold through Widden to Rosemont Stud for $60,000 (US$46,379) at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
The mare is one of two winners out of the once raced Al Maher mare Soft Landing, who is herself a half-sister to multiple Group 1 winner Universal Prince and another elite level winner in Universal Queen.
“It’s very satisfying,” winning handler Tony Gollan said. “I was more confident earlier in the week thinking we might get a wet track. When the run presented she was just too good. She’s gone up in weight and she’s done the job – fantastic!”
Gollan hinted that the now Group 1-winning mare could contest another top-level race, the Coolmore Legacy, over a mile at Randwick on 10 April.
Australian Group 1 races feature
Photo: All Star Mile logo (All Star Mile Twitter, @allstarmile)